National French Fries Day!

Happy National French Fries Day! Today we celebrate a staple side dish and burger’s best friend. French fries have made their mark around the world and have established themselves as a favorite in many different cultures. But we wanted to find out more. Do they actually come from France? Here’s the story of the famous French fry.

Interestingly enough, French fries are Belgian. Not French. Historians claim that in Belgium, potatoes were being fried as early as they late-1600s. As the legend goes, Belgian villagers would eat fried fish that they had caught in the river. However, once the weather turned too cold and the river froze over, they were forced to find alternate sources of food. During these months, the villagers relied on the potato. Belgians prepared the root plant the same way they did their fish, by slicing and frying. Ultimately, giving them French fries.

So if they originated in Belgium, why are they called French fries? Great question. These tasty tots were first given to American soldiers stationed in Belgium during World War I. With French being the official language of the Belgian army, the name stuck.

French fries are popular across the globe. Although commonly dipped in ketchup, mayonnaise, and vinegar, there is variety in how these satisfying strips are enjoyed. In Belgium, French fries are eaten with cooked mussels or with a fried egg. In the United Kingdom, they enjoy the well-known dish “fish & chips.” Canadians like poutine, a dish featuring fries and cheese curds, topped with gravy. In France, fries are eaten with grilled steak, and in the Middle East they are wrapped in pita bread with chicken. They are served differently in different countries, but their popularity remains consistent.

Once used as a method to survive cold winters, French fries have made their mark as a top-notch side dish. In America, we commonly enjoy them with some ketchup next to our burger or sandwich. However, they have proven their versatility throughout a number of different cuisines. Celebrate the day and stop in to your local Price Chopper/Market 32 or shop online for all of your favorite French fry related products!